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Microsoft's 'Naughty or Nice' Patent Application 125

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the diff'rent-strokes dept.
theodp writes "Those of you worried about Microsoft's stance on network neutrality won't find much comfort in the software giant's just-published patent application for systems and methods to facilitate self regulation of social networks through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'"
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Microsoft's 'Naughty or Nice' Patent Application

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  • "Nothing for you to see here, please move along." How very apt.
    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:00AM (#15977039) Journal
      if ($comments =~ "linux" || $comments =~ "gnu"){
          $bandwidth--;
      }
      • by GIL_Dude (850471)
        Nah, just check the http headers and if it is FF, Konquerer, Opera, Safari, etc. they are "undesireables" so cut the bandwidth.
      • by ozbird (127571)
        But FOSS is given away for free, so $good++ ?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Don't forget: we're talking about MS script here:

        If (Instr(Comments, "linux") Or Instr(Comments, "gnu")) Then
        . . . Let Bandwidth = Bandwidth - 1
        End If

        (I haven't touched a BASIC-like language in a decade, so don't beat me up too badly if it's wrong.)

        • by Pharmboy (216950)
          After reading your MS script, I am glad I use Perl instead.
          • Me too. In an indirect fashion, that was my point ;)
          • by MBGMorden (803437)
            Except that his script wasn't really accurate, nor is VB Microsoft's only development platform. I do a lot of PHP stuff myself, and use a lot of gcc (UNIX) and Borland C++ Builder (Windows), but Microsoft's dev tools are still quite nice.
            • It wasn't accurate? Do you have specifics, or just the blanket statement?
              And yes, there are dozens of scripting languages out there. But AFAIK, there is only one that MS supports out of box. Of course you can run perl.exe on Windows; but that rather defeats the purpose of my admittedly unremarkable attempt at humor, now doesn't it?
  • limitation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eneville (745111) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:46AM (#15976969) Homepage
    Can we have a limit please on the number of patents one company may have.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Better limit them to just people :)
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by navyjeff (900138)
        A corporation is a person, in the eyes of the law. That's part of the problem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EXMSFT (935404)
      Companies don't file for patents. Individuals who work at those companies do (the company just often picks up the tab, runs the process, and simply asks the signer(s) to sign over exclusive rights to the patent). So you would have to somehow constrain the ability for individuals at a company to be eligible for patents, even if their employer was willing to file them.
    • Re:limitation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Friday August 25, 2006 @09:26AM (#15977477) Homepage
      How about we just eliminate software and business method patents, and require working models for physical devices within a certain timeframe of issuance of the patent?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by discord5 (798235)

      Can we have a limit please on the number of patents one company may have.

      "Discord5 Industries" is happy to announce that it has recently aqcuired the patent to "limiting the amounts of patents one company may have". While one may wonder what my company could possible have invented (or will invent) with this patent, we are happy to report that we have opened a lawsuit against the company "Eneville Technologies" for infringing our intellectual property.

      While we are certain that our ridiculous patent will

    • by no_pets (881013)
      How about every 100th patent automatically goes into the public domain?
  • Brilliant! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:48AM (#15976971) Journal
    I see someone's finally figured out how to have an entertaining Slashdot thread.

    If you post a link to the patent instead of an article, you're virtually guaranteeing that no one will read the fucking article, let alone understand it! And just think of the wacky hijinks and hilarity that are bound to ensue from there!
    • Re:Brilliant! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AndersOSU (873247) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:05AM (#15977057)
      Not only that but also toss in a red herring about net neutrality - just to fire people up a bit. As far as I can tell the patent application (of which at least I read the claims, BTW) only applies to social networks. If you are on someone elses network I have no problem with them controlling quotas, content, etc.
      • by castle (6163) *
        The more important thing is that this kind of thing shouldn't really be patentable. It really seems obvious, but perhaps it's just a defensive patent (hahaha).
  • If you go to microsoft websites, then you get more bandwidth; if you go to google... bad user! no bandwidth for you!
  • by damburger (981828) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:48AM (#15976976)
    Having the members of a community reduce a persons presence on an website? Slashdotters would never stand for such a thing, surely.

    (PS pls mod me up!)
    • by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:43AM (#15977226)
      As if I wasn't a total outcast before, now I get to be e-rejected by VIRTUAL people! Awesome!
    • by ajs (35943)
      Actually, I'm thrilled with the idea. I think karma should be directly related to your available bandwidth (for all services, not just port 80 to Slashdot).

      This would be great, but we'll need some UI changes. First off, you want to list karma score in Mb/s. Also, it would be nice to have a "+1 pity" moderation option for those who can no longer read their mail....
  • by interiot (50685) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:49AM (#15976979) Homepage
    The only thing net neutrality should ever be applied to are situations where a natual monopoly (last mile companies) or other monopolies exist. eg. Where you have one entity who has the power to degrade another entity's bandwidth simply because the other entity is performing better than them.

    In most other situations, market/social forces will usually make the right result come out.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      only if you're in econ 101 do market forces "usually" make the "right" result come out.

      there's a reason why phrases such as asymmetric information and channel management exist. and why poor people pay more for the same services as rich people. it's called marketing, appropriately enough.

      weeeee. market forces!! they created the current patent system, moron, along with pro-business new jersey laws, and self-regulation schemes. not to mention redlining, and zipcode based insurance, and new products paying fo
  • Took a while... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Macthorpe (960048) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:50AM (#15976985) Journal
    ...but I did find the part where bandwidth is mentioned as an asset that can be controlled via this system.

    While you can look at it one way and say this is just a logical extension of rewarding 'good' users, the fact that the system can be used to punish 'bad' users and explains nothing about how this definition of 'good' and 'bad' will be determined makes me more concerned for the people using such a service.

    I bloody well wouldn't.
    • Re:Took a while... (Score:4, Informative)

      by glesga_kiss (596639) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:59AM (#15977329)
      While you can look at it one way and say this is just a logical extension of rewarding 'good' users, the fact that the system can be used to punish 'bad' users and explains nothing about how this definition of 'good' and 'bad' will be determined makes me more concerned for the people using such a service.

      I bloody well wouldn't.

      Never used p2p then? All modern p2p applications do this. For example, the ed2k protocol maintains a list of clients on each box. Whenever you download from someone, it remembers that. When it comes to uploading, the application checks the user against the file and jumps the queue if you have received from them in the past.

      Rewarding those who give back is nothing new. The slashdot moderation system is an example of this. Jeez, even customer loyalty schemes are an equivalent in meatspace. There's a lot of prior art on this sort of thing.

      • by Macthorpe (960048)
        The difference between those systems and this one is that this seems to actively rate down bad users. Where as regular use in the schemes you noted above gives you perks, there's no punishment inherent in there if you don't use it properly like we are seeing here.

        The only other system I can think of that actively rates down bad users is torrent-like applications that limit download bandwidth if you limit upload bandwidth.
        • The difference between those systems and this one is that this seems to actively rate down bad users. Where as regular use in the schemes you noted above gives you perks, there's no punishment inherent in there if you don't use it properly like we are seeing here.

          Agreed, this does seem to be deliberate punishment. However, ed2k maintains queues exceeding 3000 users on you upload queue. Believe me, that's punishment! Actually, the numbers may actually go in the opposite direction on really bad clients. I t

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)
        torrents too... download rates suck unless you are allowing some sort of upload...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        Jeez, even customer loyalty schemes are an equivalent in meatspace. There's a lot of prior art on this sort of thing.

        Since when has meatspace prior art prevented a software patent from being approved? "It's just like $physicalprocess, except it's on a computer."

        And as for the implications of a social networking site downgrading service to nebulously-defined 'bad' users, the effect is quite simple -- you lose those users to your competition. Good-bye clicks, good-bye revenue. Though, of course, 'bad' use

  • What happens if a lot of Linux/Mac users give Microsoft a bad rating. Doesn't this mean that they should have reduced bandwidth? What about all of those who still use Windows but hate MS because Word just ate their essay, Powerpoint destroyed the presentation that is about to happen in a few hours. I can see this raising very interesting prospects, just need a large enough group of people.

    But MS probably have insulated themselves against it anyway...
  • With network neutrality, I mean resources allocated for you on a larger WAN scale than within a company's (in this case Microsoft's) own network, by the owners of that physical network infrastructure. Are we sure this is talking about affecting actual network neutrality where e.g. network owners are affected by a classification system by Microsoft, or is this patent just describing a method for Microsoft to reduce bandwidth of e.g streaming media (the patent explicitly speaks of audio and video) for abusive
  • Confused? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pubjames (468013) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:51AM (#15976991)
    What has this to do with net neutrality? They are talking about social networks. I don't see anything about reducing bandwidth in the article. Way to muddy the waters Slashdot editors!
    • Re:Confused? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:59AM (#15977035) Journal
      It seems MS won't be negotiating with AT&T to reduce bandwidth for "bad" users or anything, so I can't say network neutrality is affected one way or another. As for some users on Microsoft's services getting less bandwidth from their own servers because Microsoft wants that, well, who cares? If you don't like their service (and given the quality of Microsoft's stuff, you likely won't), just don't use it?

      I can't see anything in the article saying the network owner will start reducing your bandwidth for YouTube if you were a "bad" user on Microsoft Service X in this patent. You'd only be affected if using Microsoft Service X by Microsoft themselves. Like another way of punishing users than downmodding on Slashdot, but perhaps better applied to high bandwidth media content. Shouldn't Microsoft has the right to dedicate their server resources like they want?

      My problem is mostly about companies paying actual network owners to get improved quality of service which could affect users in totally different ways than this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Andy Dodd (701)
      Yeah, it sounds like something that would be used on a Microsoft variant of MySpace (perhaps to automatically reduce privileges of predators?)

      If it were ever applied to networking, it would most likely be a bandwidth reservation system that gives good uploaders more download bandwidth on a P2P network. That sounds kind of familiar, isn't there a P2P protocol out there that already does this? I can't remember what it's called, something about bits and torrents? :)
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Other good analogies -- AIM's warning system, Ebay's feedback ratings. There are plenty of examples of PRIOR ART, mind you, where this has been done... nothing really to see here... Thanks for the tinfoil hat posting about this item, though, editors.
      • I can't remember what it's called, something about bits and torrents? :)
        Ahh, that would be the famous p2p protocol, Drillpartdeluge. Glad I could be of assistance.

        I haven't uploaded for a while, so I'm still waiting for my shower of 3/8" Moly bits to complete.
    • by Andrewkov (140579)
      Microsoft is all about innovation .. who are we to critisize?
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      Net neutrality is all about different internet users getting allocated bandwidth based on some bullshit criteria.
      The Microsoft patent is all about different internet users getting allocated bandwidth based on some bullshit criteria.

      See?
  • I hate microsoft as much as the next man but if they don't patent it then some other twonk will. Fix your patent system.
  • Slashdot infringes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:56AM (#15977011)
    Here is the first claim of the patent:

    "1. A system that facilitates self-regulation of a social network comprising: a network monitoring component that watches user behavior on the social network; and an asset allocation component that allocates or re-allocates one or more assets among one or more network users based at least in part on whether the user behavior is desirable."

    As I read that, the Slashdot moderation system infringes. The "network monitoring component" is the editors and the moderators. They "watch user behavior on the social network". The "asset allocation component" is the karma, which affects how broadly users' messages get seen. Lastly, "based ... on whether the user behavior is desireable" is obviously a big part of the moderation system (flamebait, troll, are ways to discoiurage undesirable behavior).
    • by kthejoker (931838) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:16AM (#15977098)
      Uhh - if something exists before the patent, it's called "prior art", not infringement.
      • Exactly! Although it does also depend on the date of filing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by the_arrow (171557)
        Well... It is Microsoft we're talking about here, so of course /. infringes on their new patent. But then MS very nice blokes and wont use it against anyone, and that all MS patents are defensive patents. So it wont be used against /., unless /. bring a patent lawsuit against MS.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by niceone (992278)

        Uhh - if something exists before the patent, it's called "prior art", not infringement.

        Surely that depends on how much cash you have for lawyers?

        • by kthejoker (931838)
          No, you can submit prior art for free to the patent office, and if they agree with you (no lawyers necessary!), then the patent goes away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      I love the way ignorant people read patents. There's more than one claim you know. You can't just take one claim from the patent and say something infringes the patent because of that one claim. If that were the case every patent which starts with:

      1. a stored sequence of commands for instructing a computing device,
      2. such that...

      would cover every program ever written. Which, btw, is how every software patent used to start.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LaughingCoder (914424)
        Please don't call me ignorant. If you read the text of the claim, you will notice that it is an independent claim. You can indeed just read one claim if it is not dependent on prior claims. Note that claim 2 of the patent starts out with the statement (I'm paraphrasing) "A system as described in claim 1 ...". This is known as a dependent claim and cannot stand on its own. If claim 1 were knocked out, claim 2 automatically is knocked out. People who are not ignorant of patents realize this.
        • by 91degrees (207121)
          I don't think that is how it works. I think claim 2 is considered an entirely different invention. So a system as described in claim 1, but adding trading of mod points would not be covered by Slashdot's prior art.
          • Hmmm, now you've got me thinking. Perhaps there is a patent attorney who could clarify this. I know claim 2 is dependent on claim 1. What I am not certain of is whether the composite of claim1/claim2 could be considered a valid claim even though claim 1 was deemed invalid.
          • According to Wikipedia you are correct and I am mistaken:

            "If the independent claim is determined to be invalid, however, a dependent claim may nevertheless survive, and may still be broad enough to bar competitors from valuable commercial territory. "
    • "r systems and methods to facilitate self regulation of social networks through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'"

      Sounds a lot like how bittorrent does bandwidth throttling - give away a lot of chunks, you get back a lot of chunks; be miserly in your upload rate, and get bit-slapped (no, that's not a type - its a pun :-)

    • by Bob9113 (14996)
      "1. A system that facilitates self-regulation of a social network comprising: a network monitoring component that watches user behavior on the social network; and an asset allocation component that allocates or re-allocates one or more assets among one or more network users based at least in part on whether the user behavior is desirable."

      As I read that, the Slashdot moderation system infringes.


      Indeed the Slashdot mod system is prior art. But there's a much more clear-cut example: Bittorrent. And if you wan
  • Cf. Malinowski, 1915, 1922 [wikipedia.org].
    Come on, guys....
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:00AM (#15977038)
    Yay! That way we can stamp out anything but the average, the mediocre and the banal.

     
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Goaway (82658)
      And boy, have you ever come to the right place for that!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BigFeetMedia (983532)
      I believe you placed the space in the wrong location. When refering to M$, it should be "Tyranny of them asses".
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      Actually this is an issue with the slashdot moderation system too.
      Ive noticed if anyone says anything too anti-establishment (especially anti-religion or anti-USA) it gets modded to flamebait, even if it was a valid argument.
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:03AM (#15977049) Homepage Journal
    From what I've read from the patent, it sounds like it's some sort of moderation system for a website (social networks. Like myspace and MS's own Live Spaces site). Basically, it rewards productive users of a site while punishing trolls and spammers.

    Although the patent is questionable, (it sounds similar to the Slashdot Karma System to me) it doesn't sound like something that will be used for net neutrality.

    • Here's what we need if we want to preempt as many stupid obvious patents: Pick a friendly noble license everyone's most likely to agree on (Creative Commons, GPL, or whatever). Set up a site that allow two kinds of submissions: (1) Individual algorithms in a number of languages (and perhaps in pseudocode), (2)
      • Dmn... hit "submit" instead of "preview." First time I did that.
        -----------
        Maybe some stupid obvious patents could be prevented like this: Pick a friendly noble license everyone's likely to be comfortable with (Creative Commons, GPL, or whatever). Set up a site that allow two kinds of community contributions under that license: (1) Descriptions of individual algorithms in any of a number of languages (perhaps pseudocode among them), (2) Descriptions of possible systems that can be derived from combinations
  • AC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by just_another_sean (919159) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:08AM (#15977069) Homepage Journal
    So how long unitl Anonymous Cowards lose bandwidth on /.?

    For that matter does this mean my karma might buy me more bandwidth?
  • Evil bits (Score:3, Funny)

    by Gax (196168) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:14AM (#15977091)
    This seems like a variation of the old evil bit [wikipedia.org] idea.

    Many ISPs and social networks already use similar criteria to guide subscribers on correct behaviour of the network. My ISP imposes restrictions on the bandwidth I can use every month and when I can use it during the day (a maximum of 10Gb@peak time every month). Many bit torrent communities also specify that you have to share at least the amount of data that you have downloaded, to deter leechers.
  • Didn't get down to the very details, but the summary sounds like any human social interaction in any given environment. If you consider your office a "network" the next time you give a co-worker you happen to like a gift be prepared to pay Microsoft some money on the side! They now would own how you interact!

    Has anyone tried patenting oxygen lately?
  • by TrebleJunkie (208060) <ezahurak&atlanticbb,net> on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:44AM (#15977234) Homepage Journal
    Somebody submit Slashdot's comment moderation system as prior art. Go ahead. I dares ya.

    *chuckle*

    Anyhoo, just what we need -- more technologically-enforced tyranny by majority.
    • Somebody submit Slashdot's comment moderation system as prior art.

      Presumably Microsoft's point is that this is bad patent claim feedback, so if you submit it, you'll get less bandwidth for submitting future patent claim feedback.

      But seriously, yes, this is the Mother of all Prior Art, or rather, to untangle the metaphor properly, the Ungrateful Stepchild of all Prior Art. After all, creating a predicate for goodness and badness and then throttling bandwidth based on that seems to me to be a descripti

      • Except it's not, "survival of the fittest," it's "survival of those who best toe the line." Who's line? Whoever's in the majority. What line? Whatever their whimsy wishes.

        I'm sure the hardline chi-comms would loooove something like this, but for those of us who want a free world and a free market, it's damned nearly the end of the line. Ah well.
        • Except it's not, "survival of the fittest," it's "survival of those who best toe the line."

          If you think that evolution and neural nets are doing anything more grandiose, you're in for a rude awakening one day.

          The phrase "survival of the fittest" should always cause you to ask "fittest for what?". You should not assume "fit" in this sentence means the kind of "fit" that your doctor (hopefully) proclaims you when you go in for a physical, meaning "fit in all ways". Fittest in the "survival of the fitt

  • Prior art. (Score:5, Funny)

    by auroran (10711) on Friday August 25, 2006 @09:10AM (#15977396)
    I'm sorry Microsoft but, Santa, has had prior art on this one for years.
  • Is it just me, or does this sound like the stereotypical persona given to us involving the 'cool' kids vs. the bad kids from high school?
  • Look, network neutrality doesn't make any sense (to me anyway...)

    I PAY to have bandwidth on my ISP... THEY PAY to have LOTS of bandwidth to sell to the customers... the People that they get it from PAY some HUGE company (used to be Sprint I think... , Still is?) for that bandwidth to sell and they maintain those lines for ME. Everyone making profit on they way up the ladder.

    Now YouTube comes along... And I want to watch a video... Gues what... SAME thing tracks back as above for YouTube. YouTube is paying
  • This looks like an attempt to patent a direct (and seemingly fairly obvious) application of the principle of preferential attachment, as presented by Barabási [tinyurl.com] in Linked: The New Science of Networks [tinyurl.com] and demonstrated everywhere. Prior art? Try, uh, nature...
  • I can see where this would make sense and be a legitimate thing for Xbox Live aka. Live Anywhere. People on XBL who get reported consistently as bad by other gamers, or are caught cheating / modding would suffer for their actions. It would be kinda like Xbox Jail!. I for one would appreciate that self policing.
  • XBox live? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shaggy43 (21472)
    How about XBox live's 'rep' system? Lower bandwidth for modded-down players, anyone?
  • Apparently P2P apps implement some of this, and RFC3514 [rfc.net] has covered some more since early 2003. I would just love it if that RFC torpedoed a patent like this.
  • by pcause (209643)
    Gee, one could think of karma and moderator points as things that might match the description here. Slashdot is prior art!

    I think this one is yet another example of the USPTO granting patents for things that are obvious.
  • How is this different from the Am I Hot or Not style of websites? Or any self-moderated website like slashdot? Where's the novelty?
  • Isn't this just basically the same principle behind Metamoderation? Instead of rating the mods though, the community rates everyone else... I also DO like the type of way they punish poorly behaving people - it gives them a chance to shape up without outright banning them. HOWever, I'm somewhat troubled by this being patented. Metamoderation already exists, and to cripple it is rather risky, since the patent almost covers JUST metamoderation without the bandwidth control, too.
  • Is this intentional mockery of a broken patent system? These guys are patenting a system to reward people who tell some tracker they've emailed links and photos to friends? (And no, I'm not making this up. See pp 54,55.) A system that can forbid transfer *based on content or identity* (p 53)?

    A system that can optionally run on your computer? (p 43)?

    And these are the details?

  • Why is everbody complaining. All p23p applications do this. Example. Bittorrent limits your download speed if you dont have a good upload speed

    Some other p2p systems do this too .Why is everbody upset?

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:25AM (#15978594)
    So basically Microsoft is filing for a "One Clique" Patent?
  • From my understanding of the Bittorent protocol this is what it does already with the "Choking" and all. How can they get a pattent on something with prior art that they do not own.

    Or does this mean that they are going to buy Bittorent?
    • by geekoid (135745)
      It is a patent application. I can apply for a patent for a patent on the lever. Doesn't mean it will be granted.

      Also, not all prior art is obvious. Sure it muight be obvious to YOU, but not to everyone.

      Also, Obvious mean thinking ahead, not using hindsight.
  • I believe the "technology" is already in use by any given torrent client, not to mention scores of other p2p apps. Another stupid patent. I'm currently drafting my patent on "Symbols arranged in an order thereby giving them meaning, and facilitate the exchange of information." Should this break through make me a trillionaire in court by sueing everyone who uses any langauge ever? Our patent system sucks. Microsoft has the click and double click patented. How stupid can it get? FREE INFORMATION, FOR E
  • ...through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'

    Based on the "gifts" MS has bestowed on us, I'd have have to deem them "less desirable". Maybe this is why MS Update seems so slow... </troll> :-)

  • Not that it's pantentable, but the idea is great.

    I think /.'s response time should be based on your karma. Or how soon you can see a story.

    Hel, I think lifes response time should be based on your karma.

  • May be they are going to use it as prohibititive patent, so noone ever undermine net neutrality?

    Just a thought... You know, one of those thoughts...
  • ...assets or rights can be allocated to good users in the form of gifts or trade exchange opportunities...

    This sounds like payment in kind [urbandictionary.com] (aka benefit in kind [ir35calc.co.uk]) which could be taxable [babinc.org].
    IANAA and tax rules vary.

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